Your hedgehog will be spending a big chunk of it's life in a cage, so picking the right one is going to be very important.
However, if you're new to hedgehogs you'll find there are a lot of different options out there. Some of which can be great, others potentially dangerous.
We'll start by going through a few of our favorite cage's for hedgehog's, but also cover a few things you'll want to consider or avoid when purchasing a cage.
Let's get started!
C&C Cages (Cubes & Coroplast Cage)
The cubes and coroplast cage, or C&C, for short is absolute favorite cage for hedgehogs. It's not the most traditional cage you'll find, but it's relatively low cost and offers a great deal of space for your hedgehog to roam.
The cage is made using metal grids to construct the walls and lid of the cage. Then a sheet of coroplast (corrugated plastic) is cut and folded to size to act as the cage bottom.
These cages are not made by any particular company, but are generally "hand made" by smaller stores. The size of the cage is also adjustable by adding additional grids and purchasing a larger coroplast base.
For other animals this could be customized further by adding multiple levels and ramps, but for a hedgehog you'll want to keep it to just a single level.
Midwest Guinea Pig Cage
The Midwest Guinea Pig Cage is another great option for your hedgehog. It's a spacious, single-level cage that is easily found on online from pretty much any retailer.
The main complaint we've heard over the years is the wire sides which do make it possible for your hedgehog to climb up the side. We actually used these exact cages for all of our hedgehogs for about two year with zero issues.
However, if you want to be extra careful you can purchase coroplast inserts, or cut some yourself, and insert them along the walls of the cage to make it impossible to climb.
The only other negative for this cage is that it can be a bit of a pain to clean. You basically have to remove all of the straps along the bottom, dump out any bedding, clean it, then re-strap everything. If you only have one hedgehog, or you use fleece bedding, it's probably going to be much faster.
Kaytee X-Large Wire Cage
The Kaytee X-Large Rabbit Cage is another good choice to go with. It's a bit smaller than the previous two, only measuring 42"x18". However, that shouldn't be an issue if you're providing your hedgehog time outside the cage.
This cage does come with a hard plastic bottom and is snugly attached to the wire top. The top does come off pretty easy when you need it to, which makes cleaning this cage a very quick easy process.
The wire sides also allow you to easily attach your wheel, water bottle, or fleece accessories which makes things very convenient. There's also plenty of vertical space so if you decide to use a bucket wheel there will be no issue with fitting in the cage.
Like the previous example, the only negative for some is the wire sides which your hedgehog could potentially climb. Again, we've never had an issue with these over the year, but to be safe you can insert those coroplast sides to prevent them from climbing.
Plastic Storage Bin
This will definitely be the least visually appealing option on the list, but they are an excellent cage option for hedgehogs. They come in many different sizes so you'll want to stick to a 115qt tub or larger.
A hole can also be drilled into the side of the tub to allow a mounted water bottle. You would simply make one larger hole for the actually water spout, then two smaller holes towards the top to thread zip ties and secure the bottle to the side.
Leaving the top off will also allow for plenty of ventilation and sidewalls will prevent any climbing attempts. It'll also give you plenty of room to accommodate the height of the wheel, so no lid will be used.
I know they're not the prettiest to look at, but they are incredibly cheap, easily replaced, and very easy to clean. The main downside being the overall appearance and the size.
We still prefer the C&C Cage overall, but this is a perfectly alternative for those on a budget.
What Size Cage Do Hedgehogs Need?
Hedgehogs may appear to be lazy, but they're actually quite active animals. Since they're nocturnal, all of this activity happens in the middle of the night where they're known to run up to several miles each night.
That means we need to provide them with plenty of space and enrichment to keep them happy and healthy.
The absolute minimum cage size could be as small as 30"x14", however this can only be done if providing plenty of time outside their cage. Those who do use a cage this size will also typically have a play pen, or a hedgehog safe room their hedgehog can explore.
We generally recommend you stick to a cage around 2'x4', or roughly 8sqft of floor space. Bigger is always better, but this will be plenty of space for your hedgehog.
Types of Cages to Avoid
There are a lot of cages that will work great and be perfectly safe for a hedgehog. However, there are a couple types of cages you'll generally want to avoid.
That will include cages with multiple levels, wire bottoms, or enclosures with little to no ventilation. I'll explain why more in depth below, but these types of cages introduce hazards to your hedgehog that could lead to serious injury.
Things to Consider
Cage size will be one of the important factors in choosing the right enclosure for your hedgehog. Obviously the bigger the better, but we generally recommend a cage of at least 2'x4', or 8sqft of floor space.
The only exception to this minimum is if you plan to provide plenty of time outside of the cage. That means either setting up a large play pen they can run and explore or giving them free roam throughout the room.
If you do plan on providing plenty of time outside the cage, you can go down to 30"x14" at the absolutely smallest. We'd still recommend you provide as much space as possible.
Flat Cage Bottom
Unfortunately, many cages out there that meet the size requirement, do not have flat bottoms. They instead have a wire mesh that allows waste to fall through the bottom.
These wire bottom cages are far easier to clean, but are not suitable for hedgehogs. The wire mesh can cause serious damage to their feet and should never be used. They are generally designed for more arboreal animals that spend little time on the ground.
You'll instead look for only cages with flat bottoms, or that can be converted to something with flat bottom. Many wire bottom cages have inserts, or third party conversion that can make it compatible for your hedgehog, but that can end up being quite a bit more expensive.
It's easier and cheaper to find a cage that's suitable for your hedgehog right from the beginning.
You'll also want to make sure you get a cage with adequate ventilation. That will ensure you don't build up to much humidity and allow for the exchange of built up gases within the cage.
This is the main reason we tend to recommend wire or open top cages, but others been able to properly ventilate glass or wood sided as well. Personally, we've found the Zen Habitats to be a good option if you're looking for something a bit more visually appealing.
The number one issue with see with many cages people tend to gravitate towards is that they have multiple levels. For most animals that's great, the more space the better!
Unfortunately, hedgehogs have incredibly poor eyesight and will walk right off the side of a multi-level cage. We've heard horror stories of hedgies with serious injuries or even broken limbs from those tumbles.
It's not worth the risk for a bit of extra space. Stick to a single level cage with a flat bottom.
There are a lot of great cage options out there that will work great for your hedgehog. Just be sure to stick to the general guidelines we discussed. You'll want a cage that meets the criteria below:
- Single level
- Flat bottom (No wire)
- Adequate ventilation
- 8sqft of floor space (2'x4')
As long as your cage meets those basic criteria, it should work well for a hedgehog.
If you still have questions, or would like to discuss adding a hedgehog to your own family, please feel free to contact us here.